Planning Outdoor Common Areas for Senior, Elder Cohousing
Planning Outdoor Common Areas for Senior Cohousing
Outdoor common areas for seniors need to be carefully planned for the future as well as for today. Even if the wooden path below is suitable for today, it will not work in the future for some elder residents.
Seniors also need to plan outdoor areas around the prevailing temperatures in their area of the country so they will spend their cohousing common-area money wisely.
Outdoor Common areas must be planned around the following factors:
1. Future Needs Outdoor common areas for seniors need carefulplanning so that they will be useful today and in the future. For example, thewooden plank path to the right might be suitable for all residents today. In thefuture, though, as some residents become more frail and some begin to usewalkers and wheelchairs, this particular path would not be suitable.
2. Precipitation How much and what kind of moisture falls from thesky, where that moisture goes, and how long is stays will be great determiningfactors in what outdoor areas are planned for senior cohousing. Areas that havelarge and persistent snowfalls will have much different outdoor areas from thesunbelt. Ditto for rainfall, flooding, and wetlands.
3. Temperature Hot periods need ceiling fans and cold periods needfires. Is your area mostly cold or mostly hot? Spend your money where it counts.
4. Sunshine and Shade Hot areas of the country need shade–maybeeven all year long. Colder areas need sunshine to make the outdoors habitableover more of the winter.
5. Insects Mosquitoes and other bugs are problematic in many areasof the country. That makes a screened enclosure valuable for outdoorliving.
6. Pavement To pave or not to pave, that is the question.
Paving is permanent and makes it easy to push a stroller/wheelchair or ride a bicycle/rollerblade.
Paving is not kind to the environment or to the joints of people. It might be wise to consider another form of surfacing.
7. Water Water is very nice for an outdoor area. Even a small reflective pond iswelcomed. Aswimming pool is not necessary but it is also nice.
8. Meditation and Quiet Time A quiet and shaded outdoor meditation area will servehot areas well whereas senior cohousing residents in a cooler part of thecountry might prefer a sunny area.
Note: The opinions expressedherein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarily reflect theposition of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of ahealth, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.